Audioquest Type 2 speaker cable review

ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,813
This might be the quickest I've ever reviewed something after it's arrived, but my experience was so vivid that I don't feel a need to wait.

I ordered a 4' pins/spades terminated pair of AQ Type 2 SC from Audio Advisor for $50: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQT2NF

It fit my termination requirement of pins for the amp's spring clips, was inexpensive, but was still a step up in from the standard 14ga OFC Monoprice wire I was using for my Polk Audio Blackstone TL3 computer speakers.

As usual AA processed and shipped my order promptly. These cables are terminated in house and they were the cheapest custom terminated cables that didn't use regular stranded OFC copper wire that I could find.

Instead, they use 4 individually insulated solid long grain copper wires, twisted in a star pattern. Two each for positive and negative. Workmanship on the terminations seem clean to me, with a little bit of excess solder visible on the spades. I'd wager that more is better than less though in this situation.

AAQTYPE2.jpg

aqt2nf_bw-LARGE.jpg

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59o1dh7siqt0.jpg

Bonus pic. Hate spring clips and how either bare wire or pins are the only option with them. This just makes me nervous:

03zeaofmtzq4.jpg


Moving on to how they sound! I had been using the standard 14ga wire since I got the TL3s so I had a good idea of what they offered. I always thought it sounded "just fine" and was doing justice to the TL3s. Well, I was wrong.

I hooked up the Type 2 cables and from the very first song I played, I noticed a difference in the way things were sounding. The most noticeable change was an effortless, smooth, and elegant quality that the sound had. The speakers were putting out a more cohesive soundstage, and stereo imaging was noticeably improved. I love the sensation of a nice thick stereo image, when it feels like the sound is whipping past and over your ears.

Information within songs was being presented differently. I can best describe it as a smoothness and grace that wasn't there before. In some songs, certain elements/instruments popped in and actually startled me because I hadn't heard them featured like that before. The clarity was literally surprising to me.

I can't adequately describe the feeling I now get when listening. It just sounds better. It's more enjoyable. I realize that technically that is a completely vague and subjective statement, but it's the honest truth.

These Audioquest Type 2 cables would be an excellent choice for someone looking to upgrade from standard 12-16ga stranded copper wire. As long as you have a decent set of ears, I don't see how you could NOT hear a difference. It's of course up to you to decide if that difference is "better" to you.

Overall I think that the Type 2 represents a great value, and with the nice termination options offered as well as the relatively inexpensive price, you'd be wise to give these a try if you're still using bare wire.

Got Dayens?

Comments

  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,175
    Good job. You are going down a slippery path. Enjoy. B)
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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,813
    Haha, I'm already down it. I already have Audioquest Bedrock SCs on my serious rig, soon to be MIT Terminator 2s.
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Good job. You are going down a slippery path. Enjoy. B)

    Got Dayens?
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    Nice review, Drew. I got into some reading a while back on AudioQuest cables, designs and cable theory. They have a good bit of technical documentation on their site. Interesting.

    Though I've never done it, I heard you could snip those pins if you prefer them shorter. I thought the indents were more to provide backup against slipping. I'd wonder whether snipping them could be detrimental somehow, with respect to exposing the core material and compromising the plating.

    Another idea would be to get some skinny heatshrink to slide up and heat down to cover the exposed pin section past the indent(s) you'll use. I'd personally leave at least two indents to use.

    Support the cables if you can. I use velcro ties to secure heavy cables to a rack, cabinet or stand to provide a bit a of strain relief at the connections.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,970
    Just goes to show ya don't have to spend big bucks on cables to get better sound.
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  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 1,893
    Your review reminds me of how I feel sometimes when something new is introduced into the system....hearing something in a "different way". Many times I play the track again just to be sure I actually heard what I heard in the way that I heard it.....if that makes any sense at all!
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,813
    Thanks for the ideas, Scott. I had heard that as well that you can break/cut pins to shorten them. For now I'll let it ride as is and see how it goes. Should be fine as long as my cat doesn't go back there, which he usually never does! Somehow I got lucky and found the one cat in the world that doesn't shred the toilet paper roll or bite on cables.

    The cables themselves are actually pretty light and flexible, so I routed them in such a way where they are somewhat being cradled by adjacent cables. There's little to no pressure or strain being placed on the spring clip terminals. And, like you suggested, I tried to let the spring clips "bite" onto the small indents/valleys to hopefully secure them further.
    msg wrote: »
    Support the cables if you can. I use velcro ties to secure heavy cables to a rack, cabinet or stand to provide a bit a of strain relief at the connections.

    Got Dayens?
  • ManticoreManticore Posts: 286
    Clipdat wrote: »

    Bonus pic. Hate spring clips and how either bare wire or pins are the only option with them. This just makes me nervous:

    03zeaofmtzq4.jpg


    I know the spring clips grab the indent on the pins but, that photo makes me cringe!
    Nice review.
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  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,245
    These cables look very nice! I think these will be the top option when I get my gear sold. Good review as well!
    Micah
    Micah

    Main system: Technics SL3200, Shure M97xE, Lafayette LR1100 for tuner, Hagerman Audio Labs Bugle 2 phono stage, NAD C352 integrated, Boston Acoustics VR 2, Boston PV500, generic ICs, and BJC Belden speaker cables.

    Desktop: Dell Precision 690 running iTunes, Yamaha RX-v665, Monitor Audio R90s, Velodyne VA-907, generic ICs and speaker cables.
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • motorhead43026motorhead43026 Posts: 2,799
    I am running type 8, have tried/have others but keep coming back to these.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk Signature S60's;Cables: Wireworld Eclipse IC; Audioquest Big Sur IC; LAT International speaker cables; PS Audio AC-3 power cords, all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    All TV's sound enhanced by Polk Magnfi Mini's.

    Other; SDA2BTL's, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage.

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  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,688
    Anyone have comparison between these and the Furez wire that Doug sells? I have the 10g (due to longer runs) and enjoy it quite a bit. Specifically the FZ102AS wire.
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  • mantismantis Posts: 15,046
    zuul wrote: »
    I use AQ type 4 in my rig. best cables I've heard... would take a lot for me to consider switching....
    What you get when you move up the ladder is small changes and differences. You end up spending a ton of money for little gains. I studied the line and tried everyone up to the Rocket 44. I stopped at Rocket 44 and wired my entire system with it.
    The Type 4 speaker cable is an outstanding cable.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 6,637
    mantis wrote: »
    zuul wrote: »
    I use AQ type 4 in my rig. best cables I've heard... would take a lot for me to consider switching....
    What you get when you move up the ladder is small changes and differences. You end up spending a ton of money for little gains. I studied the line and tried everyone up to the Rocket 44. I stopped at Rocket 44 and wired my entire system with it.
    The Type 4 speaker cable is an outstanding cable.

    One of these days when I'm bored, I'll listen to 3 different AQ cables.

    AQ type 4
    AQ Aspen
    AQ Wel

    contrast as compare.
    Joey's Gear:
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  • kevhed72kevhed72 Posts: 3,319
    Great post....as I have been looking to change out my 14awg Monster cable in my family room rig.
    How flexible is the cable overall? How close to a 90 degree bend you think you could get without jacking up the solid wires?
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    I heard you're supposed to work any sharp bendy areas back and forth quickly at least 100 times to break it in and make it easier to work with. You'll know you're there when the cable bends easily on its own.
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I tried to let the spring clips "bite" onto the small indents/valleys to hopefully secure them further.
    Yeah, I think whenever I've used these, with vintage receivers, for example, I've tried to get them in at least two indents. I noticed that some connectors have a bottom, while others seem open ended inside. Probably important to note on the open bottomed ones that inserting pin connectors all the way may not be the best idea if you can't see what's going on inside. I'd wonder whether it would be possible to cross the pins resulting in a spot of trouble.

    nrlafke4284a.gif


  • delkaldelkal Posts: 330
    Interesting thread!

    I was also looking at the Audioadvisor site and see they have Audioquest type 4's for about twice price of the 2's. You can get a 10 ft pair with their "no frills" terminations for $119. Not a bad deal since just buying the bare wire is the same price.

    audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQT4NF&opt=475|492|494|501

    You can also get the type 4's factory terminated by Audioquest with the fancy braided sheath and (presumably) better connectors. They look great but the price goes up fast......a 10 ft pair is $280.

    audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQT4&opt=1160|1167|1169|1172


    I assume the wire part will sound the same ugly/plain or fancy/sheathed. But are the better connectors worth $160?

  • kevhed72kevhed72 Posts: 3,319
    The AQ "finished" cable look super nice but IMO way too pricey unless money is no object. Im basically wining becasue all the Type 4s on flea bay are somewhat outrageous price wise for used speaker cables.
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,192
    has anyone tried audioquest gbc sspeaker acbles from hcm audio?

    https://hcmaudio.com/products/audioquest-gbc-speaker-cable-full-range-pair
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800, Usher R1.5
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,970
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    The AQ "finished" cable look super nice but IMO way too pricey unless money is no object. Im basically wining becasue all the Type 4s on flea bay are somewhat outrageous price wise for used speaker cables.

    Pricey ? What's your idea of pricey ? Because you can buy some AQ type 4's straight from BestBuy for a tad over 100 bucks.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioquest-8-type-4-speaker-cable-blue-black/9892721.p?skuId=9892721
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

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  • kevhed72kevhed72 Posts: 3,319
    Im cheap and dont want to spend that much for my 2nd system....thats all. I had a pair of type 4s I scored for like 100 bucks used awhile ago and like a fool sold them.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,970
    edited June 30
    By any measure, I don't think 100-150 bucks is pricey...for any system. Just sayin'.

    Your system, be it the 1st/2nd/or 3rd, is only going to be as good as the weakest link. Don't make cables that weak link is all I'm sayin' and a tad over 100 bucks is totally reasonable.

    Cheap is relative...my outdoor speakers have cheap cables. Still, they are AQ cables.

    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_703X250W/AudioQuest-X2-Speaker-Cable-50-feet-White.html?tp=588&awkw=75643972945&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=47692541425&awdv=c&awug=9021493&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuc3cstL82wIVisDACh0dFw7KEAQYASABEgLuL_D_BwE

    100 bucks for a 50 ft. roll and they sound way better than the crap I had in there which were comparable to monoprice cabling. For 50 ft of cable though, too much higher up the ladder will cost ya a fortune.

    For 8-10 ft though, spend the coin. Not like anyone has to eat spam for a month.

    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 11,184
    marvda1 wrote: »
    has anyone tried audioquest gbc sspeaker acbles from hcm audio?

    https://hcmaudio.com/products/audioquest-gbc-speaker-cable-full-range-pair

    HCM Audio is legit. I've bought many Audioquest items from them.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,046
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    Great post....as I have been looking to change out my 14awg Monster cable in my family room rig.
    How flexible is the cable overall? How close to a 90 degree bend you think you could get without jacking up the solid wires?
    Not a good idea to bend a 90 degree angle in a cable my friend especially solid core cables. You can break or at minimum restrict signal flow.
    14g Monstercable is stranded but you still shouldn't bend it at 90 degrees. Soft bend work much better.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,046
    Joey_V wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    zuul wrote: »
    I use AQ type 4 in my rig. best cables I've heard... would take a lot for me to consider switching....
    What you get when you move up the ladder is small changes and differences. You end up spending a ton of money for little gains. I studied the line and tried everyone up to the Rocket 44. I stopped at Rocket 44 and wired my entire system with it.
    The Type 4 speaker cable is an outstanding cable.

    One of these days when I'm bored, I'll listen to 3 different AQ cables.

    AQ type 4
    AQ Aspen
    AQ Wel

    contrast as compare.
    I've been doing this for decades. Swapping out cables and listening to the differences between them is fun, annoying , frustrating when the cables you think should be better and are not, also when you find cables you really like for the reasons other then sound quality can also get very frustrating.
    The magic with audioquest is that they build all their cables from the entry level models to the Wel's. You get a beautiful sounding system no matter what you spend on the cables. The gains you get are small as you go up the ladder and on many more entry systems you can't even hear any differences anyway because the system can't revel that level of clarity. It's like putting Perelli High end High speed tires on a car that can't reach the speed rating or handling abilities. Matching the correct tire to the car is key for not wasting money or products with no benefits to given situation.

    So testing type 4 vs Well the system would have to be very high end to hear the differences. I would never buy We level cables for my system as it doesn't have that kind of detail and clarity.
    I find figuring out what level is appropriate makes the most value for a given system. Just because a cable is technically better then another in a given system you might not be able to hear those differences.
    I really learned this not just from my own trials and errors but from learning from the Engineers who design the gear and cables we love.

    Have fun and do it sooner then later unless you don't want to give up a TON of your free time being a NUT like me. I probably should be locked away in a mental ward for the amount of time I spent testing cables LOL.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 330
    tonyb wrote: »
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    The AQ "finished" cable look super nice but IMO way too pricey unless money is no object. Im basically wining becasue all the Type 4s on flea bay are somewhat outrageous price wise for used speaker cables.

    Pricey ? What's your idea of pricey ? Because you can buy some AQ type 4's straight from BestBuy for a tad over 100 bucks.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioquest-8-type-4-speaker-cable-blue-black/9892721.p?skuId=9892721

    Best Buy confused me too. I was ready to get out my credit card till I realized that was for one cable. The "plain" Audioadvisor cable is for a pair (which is useful if you have a stereo).

    I assume they sound the same.

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